Music Reviews
Expensive Vomit in a Cheap Hotel

Sleeping in the Aviary Expensive Vomit in a Cheap Hotel

(Science of Sound) Buy it from Insound Rating - 6/10

Regular readers may remember my enthusiastic review of the solo album by Sleeping in the Aviary drummer Michael Sienkowski (released under the nom de plume Whatfor) a few months ago. A beautifully realised homage to classic sixties pop with a heavy Kinks influence, it remains one of my favourite releases of 2008 so far. As a consequence, I had high hopes for Expensive Vomit in a Cheap Hotel. After all, I mused, if the drummer can write a near-classic, what kind of artistic heights might the full band be capable of scaling?

It seems I let myself get a little carried away.

While it’s not a bad record by any stretch, I can’t help but feel a touch disappointed by Sleeping in the Aviary’s latest offering. It’s decent indie-rock fare, sure, but in a sense that’s the chief problem with Expensive Vomit; like many other artists currently operating in the genre, SitA’s music is often good, yet seldom great. The melancholy piano-led You’re a Party is one notable exception, and certainly the strongest track here, but for the most part Expensive Vomit in a Cheap Hotel – which, for the record, is a truly atrocious album title – consists of mid-tempo, rough and ready indie-rock tunes. You’ll have heard their kind before, but if you must download one I’d have to recommend the rousing opener Write On.

It’s seems ungrateful to grumble over a solid, competent release, but it’s a crowded marketplace out there and unless you’ve got an insatiable appetite for North American indie-rock, Expensive Vomit in a Cheap Hotel is almost certainly an album that you can go on happily living without. That Whatfor record on the other hand...